Supporting in-family childcare arrangements

Support mothers returning to work by allowing childcare vouchers to be used for family members providing childcare.  Allowing a Grandma to look after her grandchild whilst also enabling her to be in receipt of payment would keep both mother and grandparent earning whilst benefitting both parties and the child. Alternative might often be mother staying at home instead, claiming benefits as cost of sending child to nursery outweighs benefit of earning.

Why is this idea important?

Support mothers returning to work by allowing childcare vouchers to be used for family members providing childcare.  Allowing a Grandma to look after her grandchild whilst also enabling her to be in receipt of payment would keep both mother and grandparent earning whilst benefitting both parties and the child. Alternative might often be mother staying at home instead, claiming benefits as cost of sending child to nursery outweighs benefit of earning.

Reverse the decision that all new nurses will be required to have degrees

The basic requirement for being a good nurse is surely to have a kind, caring personality, not an ability to write a good essay.  It is therefore hugely worrying that entirely uncaring, but academic people could soon qualify as nurses at the expense of those who are very caring and attentive, but do not have an aptitude for academic study. 

What is more, there is a very real possibility that some of those who get degrees will become ‘too posh to wash’ and think the traditional duties of a nurse below them.  This will do nobody any favours. 

On top of this, has any thought been given to how this ludicrous proposal will be funded?  There are surely only three possibilities, all of which are unpalatable:

  1. The government will fund this unnecessary extra education, through grants and subsidies, increasing the already gargantuan budget deficit, thus further exacerbating the economic woes of this country.  
  2. Nursing will become a career option which is only available to the wealthy, as they will be the only ones who can afford the training.
  3. Trainee nurses will be required to take out large loans, saddling them with huge debts that they may never pay off.

Clearly none of the above, or any combination of them, is in the slightest bit desirable from the point of view either of potential nurses or of society as a whole.

Why is this idea important?

The basic requirement for being a good nurse is surely to have a kind, caring personality, not an ability to write a good essay.  It is therefore hugely worrying that entirely uncaring, but academic people could soon qualify as nurses at the expense of those who are very caring and attentive, but do not have an aptitude for academic study. 

What is more, there is a very real possibility that some of those who get degrees will become ‘too posh to wash’ and think the traditional duties of a nurse below them.  This will do nobody any favours. 

On top of this, has any thought been given to how this ludicrous proposal will be funded?  There are surely only three possibilities, all of which are unpalatable:

  1. The government will fund this unnecessary extra education, through grants and subsidies, increasing the already gargantuan budget deficit, thus further exacerbating the economic woes of this country.  
  2. Nursing will become a career option which is only available to the wealthy, as they will be the only ones who can afford the training.
  3. Trainee nurses will be required to take out large loans, saddling them with huge debts that they may never pay off.

Clearly none of the above, or any combination of them, is in the slightest bit desirable from the point of view either of potential nurses or of society as a whole.

Scrap sex laws that discriminate against teachers.

Relatively recent law changes now mean that a teacher can be prosecuted for having a sexual relationship with a 16 or 17 year-old. Yet the age of consent is 16! Why should there be special rules for the teaching profession? Doctors and nurses aren't barred from having relationships with people who have been patients in their hospital. Police officers aren't banned from having sex with people who live on their beat. Tax inspectors aren't banned from french-kissing taxpayers!

Now, if a teacher abused their position, that would be a different matter. If they said to a sixth-former, "I'll fail you unless you give me a blow job," then that would be a clear abuse of their position – but prosecutors should have to show that some abuse of authority has actually taken place. The state should not presume that a relationship is abusive just because one partner is a student and the other is a teacher!

A person could marry a 16 year-old and then become a teacher at their school. They could already have a child together. Surely we can't prosecute them or ban them from being at the same school! And if we don't prosecute married couples, why should we discriminate against other couples who choose not to marry?

Why is this idea important?

Relatively recent law changes now mean that a teacher can be prosecuted for having a sexual relationship with a 16 or 17 year-old. Yet the age of consent is 16! Why should there be special rules for the teaching profession? Doctors and nurses aren't barred from having relationships with people who have been patients in their hospital. Police officers aren't banned from having sex with people who live on their beat. Tax inspectors aren't banned from french-kissing taxpayers!

Now, if a teacher abused their position, that would be a different matter. If they said to a sixth-former, "I'll fail you unless you give me a blow job," then that would be a clear abuse of their position – but prosecutors should have to show that some abuse of authority has actually taken place. The state should not presume that a relationship is abusive just because one partner is a student and the other is a teacher!

A person could marry a 16 year-old and then become a teacher at their school. They could already have a child together. Surely we can't prosecute them or ban them from being at the same school! And if we don't prosecute married couples, why should we discriminate against other couples who choose not to marry?

Get rid of red tape surrounding adoption.

I am 1 of many people who would like to adopt in the near future, but currently i will have a major fight to do so given the amount of red tape, tests, exams, courses etc…. that is compulsary before YOU are told that your capable to adopt. I have a loving partner, we have our own children who are happy, loved, do well in most of their achievements and are behind us adopting. I have a friend that tried to adopt but was refused due to a criminal offence from 20 years ago! has never re-offended since and is a wonderful parent, who was willing to adopt 2 or more siblings.

Why is this idea important?

I am 1 of many people who would like to adopt in the near future, but currently i will have a major fight to do so given the amount of red tape, tests, exams, courses etc…. that is compulsary before YOU are told that your capable to adopt. I have a loving partner, we have our own children who are happy, loved, do well in most of their achievements and are behind us adopting. I have a friend that tried to adopt but was refused due to a criminal offence from 20 years ago! has never re-offended since and is a wonderful parent, who was willing to adopt 2 or more siblings.

Free care for the old, make prisoners pay instead.

My suggestion is to repeal the laws that compel the old to sell their homes and instead charge criminals for the cost of their sentences. To prevent the impact of negative cash flow sending people back to crime, my suggestion has two potential penalties: additional tax and a charge on the criminal's estate.

For a first offence I suggest a tax surcharge of 0.5% to be applied for every year of the sentence (not time served) after release, possibly to be paid into a bond which could be repaid after ten years of good behaviour. For a second offence I would raise that charge to 1% and for a third offence 5%. As an alternative for well heeled individuals who could avoid tax I would apply a charge to their estate to paid when they die.

Why is this idea important?

My suggestion is to repeal the laws that compel the old to sell their homes and instead charge criminals for the cost of their sentences. To prevent the impact of negative cash flow sending people back to crime, my suggestion has two potential penalties: additional tax and a charge on the criminal's estate.

For a first offence I suggest a tax surcharge of 0.5% to be applied for every year of the sentence (not time served) after release, possibly to be paid into a bond which could be repaid after ten years of good behaviour. For a second offence I would raise that charge to 1% and for a third offence 5%. As an alternative for well heeled individuals who could avoid tax I would apply a charge to their estate to paid when they die.

freedom to remain in your care home

The white paper "valuing People" should be more flexible and not pidgeon hole everyone with learning disabilities. people with severe health problems and profound handicap should be given the choice to remain in their care home and not be forced to live in the community, being cared for by people who don't know them and who don't have the health care training of their present carers. Parents like myself know from years of experience what is best for our sons and daughters, not PCTpartnership board managers or politicians who are trying to "normalise" society. my son is brain damaged and severely handicapped but is living a happy fulfilled life where he is and to confuse and disorientate him by an unnecessary move is cruel. The cost of this project is absurd and in these times of economic hardship, surely improvements to a 20 year old purpose built care home would be a much better solution than spending millions on adapting and refitting private houses. 

Why is this idea important?

The white paper "valuing People" should be more flexible and not pidgeon hole everyone with learning disabilities. people with severe health problems and profound handicap should be given the choice to remain in their care home and not be forced to live in the community, being cared for by people who don't know them and who don't have the health care training of their present carers. Parents like myself know from years of experience what is best for our sons and daughters, not PCTpartnership board managers or politicians who are trying to "normalise" society. my son is brain damaged and severely handicapped but is living a happy fulfilled life where he is and to confuse and disorientate him by an unnecessary move is cruel. The cost of this project is absurd and in these times of economic hardship, surely improvements to a 20 year old purpose built care home would be a much better solution than spending millions on adapting and refitting private houses.